In one of our previous articles you could read about our visit to the Abenteuer & Allrad in Germany. We had a great time, and had a lot of inspiration and ideas for our new build. We met with Tina, Gary and Ian from Motorcraft Adventure Developments and were impressed by their boxes. We agreed to meet as soon as possible at their factory in Doncaster, England.
When we were back we made an appointment to meet up and we booked our P&O ferry Rotterdam – Hull. Scotty had to be in the dogs room in a bench, but hey, she could come with us! Scotty had to get a tape worm treatment from the vet, it had to be in her passport. The arrangements for Scotty were easy, for us it was much more difficult to get into the UK! We had to fill out about a zillion of forms, either by P&O Ferries or the British government.
Amy was working in Rotterdam the day we would leave for Hull, so we agreed that I would pick her up in the city. Unfortunately there were a lot of traffic jams towards Rotterdam, so we arrived just in time to board the ferry.
Luckily it was not very busy with transport to the UK. We had to do a lot of checks again and Scotty’s passport got a check as well. They even checked her chip! We drove onto the ferry. Because Freerider is almost 3 meters high we had to park on the transporter floor, all the way down. We took the the elevator to the 8th floor: reception. We needed to find out where Scotty was supposed to go.
The nice lady from the reception offered us an upgrade (paid) to a ‘dog-owners-cabin’ so Scotty could stay with us. These cabins are really scarce so we agreed, much nicer for our pooch!
We had a nice dinner in the “Brasserie” and went to bed early. We arrived the next morning in Hull after a very calm crossing. We had a good nights sleep with Scotty in our room.
RP has been to the UK (mostly Scotland) numerous times, so driving on the ‘wrong side of the road’ was not really a challenge. We drove towards Doncaster and arrived around 9 o’clock to meet up with Gary @ Motorcraft Adventure Developments. First Scotty had to be cuddled. Gary met Scotty already on the Abenteuer & Allrad Messe and he really loves the little Woofer, and who can blame him for that?
Motorcraft Adventure Developments
Gary gave us a very extensive tour of the factory. It was a bit of an ‘organised mess’ but everybody seemed to know what they were doing. We were impressed by the craftsmanship and the build quality of the boxes.
Not lightweight but very rugged: a full steel frame and thick walls with (next to insulation) two marine plywood panels in it. This means they will not break easily and you can put a screw in the walls, instead of just glueing stuff together.
We very much liked the aluminium finishes and tree sliders as well as the brush guards on top of the box. All very sturdy but also stylish. Windows and hatches looked rugged and stylish as well, especially the Safari hatch is something we definitely need in our build!
Motorcraft also develops a lot of nice ‘goodies’ for the HX60 as well, we like the cupholders for the door a lot but we definitely need to have the lamp guards that Gary is holding!
We had good talks with Tina, Ian and Gary and we immediately had a good feeling about this. We particularly liked the box with the alcove on the MAN HX60 of David and Jess ‘Global Traces’. We had contact with Jess and David before our trip and agreed to meet on Friday at their location.
To the South
After our day @Motorcraft we started towards the South and pulled up at a pub called the Royal Oak in Swayfield. This is a classic English pub with beers and the obvious pub-food, just what we were looking for. Scotty was more than welcome, so we were all happy.
We brought Amy’s laptop to look at the drawings of our box-layout, and work on our plans after the input @ Motorcraft.
During this process we tried several English beers, one tasted better than the other, haha.
Talking to the locals was also fun, everyone was very interested what the ‘Dutchies’ were doing in their pub.
Scotty got cuddles all around so was happy too! We had the obligated fish & chips for dinner. We asked the barlady if we could stay for the night in our Sprinter: ‘no problem love’.
We slept very well and the next morning we went for a walk in the village with Scotty. Not a whole lot to see except for the beautiful church and lovely houses.
We got in the Sprinter and drove to Ramsey. We did some sightseeing along the way and drove some backwards roads. We were looking for a spot to stay for the night when David sent us a WhatApp message: ‘you are more than welcome to stay here and we have spaghetti for dinner’
That sounded much better than a parking lot somewhere in Ramsey, so we decided to move to Huntingdon where Jess and David were staying at Off Grid Campers. They did the inside built of Jess and David and had to finish some little things.
Global Traces @ off Grid Campers
David was alread waiting when we drove up. It was a warm welcome although Jess was still on her way with baby Isla from London. We received the grand tour of Bebe (their MAN HX60 Expedition truck is called Bebe) and talked about the build in general.
Scotty was having fun with Angus, the Off Grid Campers dog. Global Traces Otis had to stay in because Angus and Otis do not really see eye to eye.
Jess and daughter Isla (almost one year) arrived and we had a great spaghetti dinner in Bebe. Afterwards David started an outside fire and we talked for hours. Meanwhile Scotty & Otis were running around like maniacs.
The next morning we went for a walk in the beautiful fields and forest surrounding us. We encountered many pheasants and Scotty was having the time of her life!
We did also meet an elderly woman with three very nice dogs, Scotty just kept on running & playing!
We had some more ‘shop’ talks with David about the box and crawled all over the unit. The alcove is in our opinion not only the best design for the HX60 but it adds loads of space as well.
The eye for detail and the aluminium finishes in black raptor not only adds to the strength but also to the refined rugged looks.
We had already pretty much made our mind up, but after meeting with Jess, Isla, David and Bebe we decided to go for the Motorcraft box.
To thank Jess and David for their hospitality we invited them for lunch. As we did not know the area David asked Nev – Off Grid Campers for a good restaurant, and they came through!
We ended up in the picturesque village Broughton with lovely straw roofing cottages and the fantastic restaurant The Crown. We had a local dish, the Lincoln sausages, and they were really good.
Even Isla had them and enjoyed the sausages a lot!
After the late lunch we left for the North-East and ended up at the pub Old Chequers Inn in Lymn Bank. We had a long walk with Scotty and dinner in the pub afterwards. Because we had dinner we could stay for the night and after another walk we tucked in.
The next morning we left for the beach and ended up in Skegness. What can we say: it is not the most beautiful or classy seaside resort we ever saw. We drove along casino’s, arcades and multiple theme parks to the outskirts of Skegness.
We found a fantastic beach and Scotty enjoyed the sand, sea and many other dogs she could play with!
We went to Lincoln and that was pretty much the surprise of the trip! Lincoln has a very old and beautiful town centre filled with history.
Beautiful churches, the castle and not to forget: it is also the city where one of exemplifications of the Magna Carta is stored.
So, in our opinion, Lincoln is definitely worth a visit. Just go to Steep Hill (yes, it is steep) and walk up to the church and the castle. You will pass the most beautiful old shops and nice and cosy restaurants.
We were in Lincoln on a Saturday and it was rather crowded but, cozy. Off course we could not resist the local fudge!
At the end of the day we went to Hull for our check-inn and mandatory covid-test to enter The Netherlands again. We had to wait for the outcome but were both good to go.
The weird thing was that we already had a 2nd day Uk covid-test the day before. This was only good for 24 hours so we had to do another one with P&O Ferries.
We managed to secure another upgrade for Scotty, so we had her in our cabin again. As it was RP’s birthday we had a lovely and copious dinner with a very good bottle of wine and cheese with a tawny port afterwards.
The sea was much rougher than on the way in, but still no problems at all. We had a good night sleep and arrived the next morning in Rotterdam. It took some time to get off the boat and past customs, but two hours later we were @ home.
Aftermath: We had a great and productive trip to the UK. We got to know the Motorcraft boxes and the staff. It made our decision much lighter. We also got to know Jess, Isla, David and Otis and hopefully they will be staying with us (including Bebe) at the end of November.
We are looking forward to seeing the Global Traces Gang again!